Print 49 comment(s) - last by S3anister.. on Feb 7 at 5:05 AM

Insight will reportedly sell for under $20,000 in the U.S.

Honda has released its Insight hybrid onto the Japanese market, despite the poor economic climate. The vehicle is now the cheapest hybrid on the market, undercutting the Toyota Prius, with a MSRP of 1.89 million yen or about $21,000 USD. The car will reportedly sell for under $20,000 in the U.S., which is the main market for the vehicle.

Honda says that it expects to sell about 200,000 Insights per year with 100,000 of the sales coming from the U.S. alone, Japan moving 50,000, and Europe moving the other 50,000 cars. Honda President Takeo Fukui said, "Pricing is key when we think about making the hybrid widespread. It has to be an appealing price. But it still must make sense for us as a business. It is a very ambitious goal."

The Insight has a fuel economy estimate of 43 MPG according to Honda, which would have been much more appealing before fuel prices dropped under the weight of a sagging economy. Honda's Norio Ano said, "If the Insight had gone on sale a half year earlier, it would have been such a sure hot-seller."

Toyota has announced a new larger and more expensive Prius for 2010. The expected new price point for the larger 2010 Prius puts an even larger gap between it and that of the Insight. To combat this gap, the Associated Press says that Toyota may continue to sell the old Prius alongside the new Prius as a lower cost alternative – at least in Japan.

Honda's Insight is set to hit the U.S. market in April and the European market in March.

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Not bad but ...
By randomposter on 2/5/2009 2:27:42 PM , Rating: 4
I'm holding out for the Honda Fit hybrid. I absolutely love the utility of the Fit and the zippy drive - if Honda can retain those attributes in a hybrid model while improving fuel efficiency by ~50%, I'm in.

RE: Not bad but ...
By acase on 2/5/09, Rating: -1
RE: Not bad but ...
By Spuke on 2/5/2009 3:51:38 PM , Rating: 1
I actually like the Fit (I like hatchbacks) but it's too slow for me and it's FWD.

RE: Not bad but ...
By Noya on 2/5/2009 8:49:16 PM , Rating: 4
and it's FWD.

Yes, but all hatches in the USA are FWD based.

RE: Not bad but ...
By Spuke on 2/6/2009 11:41:56 AM , Rating: 2
Yes, but all hatches in the USA are FWD based.
I know. :(

RE: Not bad but ...
By S3anister on 2/7/2009 5:05:16 AM , Rating: 3
OK, what's a Subaru Impreza then?

Wait... It's a sedan and a hatchback!

Not to mention the Toyota Matrix S, Saab 9-2X, and Audi A3 are all AWD with hatchback models.

RE: Not bad but ...
By Gage8 on 2/6/2009 4:15:57 PM , Rating: 3
Agreed. The Fit is a sharp looking little compact

By Chiisuchianu on 2/5/2009 2:14:43 PM , Rating: 4
It's exciting that there is finally competition for the Prius coming out so soon. When the Chevy Volt comes out, it will finally feel like the country is truly evolving.

RE: Exciting
By vapore0n on 2/5/2009 3:24:47 PM , Rating: 4
Keep waiting. GM needs more vespene gas.

RE: Exciting
By Alexvrb on 2/5/2009 6:50:23 PM , Rating: 4
Hey, that's not entirely an easy prospect with the constant Zerg incursions!

chevy volt
By iway90041 on 2/5/2009 3:20:33 PM , Rating: 2
When the Chevy volt comes out it will be twice the price of the Insight, 1/2 the content and 1/2 the reliability.

GM is living in a vacuum.

RE: chevy volt
By afkrotch on 2/5/2009 4:11:31 PM , Rating: 2
There will always be "I'll only buy American" ppl out there. They'll hardly take the business from the "I'll only buy Japanese" ppl out there.

Like me. After this stupid GM built Opel Tigra, I'll only buy Japanese cars.

Impreza Brighton
Corolla Levin GT Apex
Legacy 2.2 GX
Proton Wira (UK slogan - Japanese Technology, Malaysian Style)(Yep, Malaysian car using Japanese parts.)
Mazda 323
Daihatsu Mira J Turbo
Opel Tigra

Opel Tigra. Worse car I ever owned. Don't know if it's the Europeans who screwed it up or the Americans. Someone did though. It's a GM product though.

RE: chevy volt
By meepstone on 2/6/2009 9:07:18 AM , Rating: 3
never understood the ppl that will only buy american. like half the parts are from other countries, its just assembled in the US

By afkrotch on 2/5/2009 2:50:09 PM , Rating: 2
With everyone being more gas conscience, I wonder why Daihatsu isn't pushing to sell in the US. Only major cities though. Like their Daihatsu Mira Gino. A 4WD model goes for about $13k. It's a 0.6L 3 cyclinder, but it's more than enough power for city driving.

My old Mira J Turbo was loud as hell at around 150 kph, but it was Tokyo. Not many chances to get it above 120 kph, let alone 100 kph. I had an 8 gallon tank and barely used any gas. Under normal driving, a tank of gas could last 2-3 weeks. I went racing in the mountains with it, so I burned through a tank of gas a week. Sometimes 2-3 on just a weekend.

I modified the suspension and added weight to the car. The car was too light to get good takeoff or grip. Probably the exact same 660cc engine as the Gino, but turbocharged and only FWD. Couldn't find an AWD Mira to do an engine swap on.

You see or don't you?
By blueboy09 on 2/6/2009 5:27:00 AM , Rating: 1
This is a Prius ripoff from what I see in the photo. I swear it's an Insight vehicle wearing a Pruis suit!

By kellehair on 2/5/09, Rating: -1
RE: Ugly
By Arribajuan on 2/5/2009 2:12:14 PM , Rating: 2
while I do not think it is that ugly, the dashboard does seem very busy and poorly designed (aesthetically speaking).

RE: Ugly
By afkrotch on 2/5/2009 2:12:26 PM , Rating: 2
They have unveiled the Honda Prius. That's all it looks like to me.

RE: Ugly
By Suomynona on 2/5/2009 2:49:37 PM , Rating: 3
Apparently it's an ideal shape for low drag, so I doubt it will be the last one that looks like a Prius.

RE: Ugly
By Spuke on 2/5/2009 3:55:43 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, it's not the ideal shape for low drag. There are other cars with similar CD's and are not shaped this way. This is the preferred shape of a hybrid, that's all. The market for this car wants this shape.

RE: Ugly
By Keeir on 2/5/2009 4:09:05 PM , Rating: 3
Cd is not the only consideration

This shape also has an extremely high ratio of interior volume to forward projection area and wieght.

Other car shapes may have similar Cd and so with similar forward projection areas have the same wind resistance, but most are significantly smaller volume wise.

RE: Ugly
By Keeir on 2/5/2009 4:19:51 PM , Rating: 3
For example, the Ford Fusion and Honda Prius are very close in interior volume and usuable space.

The Fusion has a frontal area of 4110 in2 to the Prius 3980 in2 and a difference in length of 190in to 175in. This puts the Fusion (a much more attractive car at this point) at a significant disadvanage.. it needs a lower Cd to create equal air-resistance and must be built of lower density material/less material to even out the additional wieght.

RE: Ugly
By LRonaldHubbs on 2/5/2009 2:24:43 PM , Rating: 3
Slightly less ugly than the Prius IMO, but that doesn't say much, it still looks terrible overall.

Not all Japanese cars are ugly though. Subaru has some great looking vehicles (except the Tribeca, which is hideous). The new Legacy sedan looks very sharp IMO, especially the GT model.

RE: Ugly
By afkrotch on 2/5/2009 2:31:39 PM , Rating: 2
The Legacy's have gotten way better, but I still prefer the GC8 Imprezas.

RE: Ugly
By lagomorpha on 2/5/2009 2:50:27 PM , Rating: 2
While I love Subarus, I have to concede that they are not beautiful cars. If anything the newest generation has changed from "ugly but unique" to "bland". Though for those of us that don't like to attract attention to our vehicles "bland" isn't such a bad thing.

RE: Ugly
By afkrotch on 2/5/2009 3:55:15 PM , Rating: 2
For the GC8s, the US got the shaft and never received the WRX or WRX STI versions. Didn't get them til the GDBs. We got stuck with the ugly bug eyes, then the much better look, then all of the sudden a station wagon.

The Legacy look alright to me around 96 and up. It's gotten much better.

The Forester seems to be going in the wrong direction. It's like buying a Rav-4 or CRV now. I preferred when it was more of a car.

Tribeca has always been ugly, just less ugly now. When it first came out, it was by far the ugliest Subaru ever. And I've been up close and personal with all the models that don't leave Japan. I thought the R2 was bad, til the Tribeca came out.

The Outback got worse. 2005 - 2007 was probably the best ones I liked.

But the only ones I really like for the states is the 99-00 Impreza 2.5RS models.

RE: Ugly
By schrodog on 2/5/2009 2:35:54 PM , Rating: 2
While I agree it is definitely not a car you want to be picking girls up in (unless they are tree-hugging environmentalists) the shape of the car is meant to reduce drag and thus improve fuel economy. If you do not care what this car looks like and just want a car that will get you to work without burning up your paycheck, then cars like the Insight and the Prius are probably the way to go.

RE: Ugly
By afkrotch on 2/5/2009 2:52:28 PM , Rating: 2
If the women you pick up are only interested in what car you drive, you can just tell those sluts to keep walking.

RE: Ugly
By Murloc on 2/5/2009 3:18:58 PM , Rating: 2
I don't think it's designed for young people with a lot of money....

RE: Ugly
By afkrotch on 2/5/2009 3:57:00 PM , Rating: 2
Unless they're the next generation of hippies.

RE: Ugly
By Whaaambulance on 2/5/2009 2:42:11 PM , Rating: 3
Your mom is ugly. Your dad is ugly. Combine the 2 and we get you.

RE: Ugly
By Darkskypoet on 2/5/2009 4:27:24 PM , Rating: 2
And I take it you are the result of a pair of Wookies?

RE: Ugly
By Whaaambulance on 2/5/09, Rating: -1
RE: Ugly
By Darkskypoet on 2/5/2009 7:26:37 PM , Rating: 2
Well now, in case you hadn't heard; the kid that was extorting favors from nude photos is in custody right now. So no need to be dangling those raisins out for the world to see. Well, I suppose someone might take you up on your offer, but assuredly not I.

"Not that there's anything wrong with that"

RE: Ugly
By Hiawa23 on 2/5/09, Rating: 0
RE: Ugly
By Davelo on 2/6/2009 12:15:03 PM , Rating: 1
Take a Prius and put an ugly gaping mouth on the front of it. You now have the new Honda Insight.

The Future is here - And its ugly
By Whaaambulance on 2/5/09, Rating: -1
RE: The Future is here - And its ugly
By m0mentary on 2/5/2009 2:42:58 PM , Rating: 3
If you're referring to the interior I have no answer, if you're talking about the exterior, I believe that sloped shape is used because it minimizes drag and helps said model achieve its high mpg ratings.

By quiksilvr on 2/5/2009 10:05:33 PM , Rating: 2
It doesn't make that much of a difference. The Camry has a Cd of 0.28 and the Prius has 0.25. Does it really make that much of a difference that you have to make such an ugly car?

RE: The Future is here - And its ugly
By walk2k on 2/5/2009 3:05:06 PM , Rating: 4
Oh please, it looks like every other car on the road. Boring maybe, but hardly ugly.

Anyway I think people who will drive this are mostly concerned about the fuel economy, not looks.

RE: The Future is here - And its ugly
By Spuke on 2/5/2009 3:49:20 PM , Rating: 1
Anyway I think people who will drive this are mostly concerned about the fuel economy, not looks.
Please yourself. People DO care about looks. I would say for most people that's the number one priority. People will find this look and the price for a 40+ mpg car attractive and buy it OR they'll find the car ugly and it will take massive rebates to get them off the lots. The one or two people on DT that like it (but have NO intention on buying one) don't count.

RE: The Future is here - And its ugly
By Oregonian2 on 2/5/2009 10:08:09 PM , Rating: 2
So what's better looks worth (talking about cars here, btw). If it looks "moderately better" and MPG goes down by 5 MPG, is that worth it? How about if it looks really good and is 10 MPG lower, is that a winner?

By Spuke on 2/6/2009 11:49:56 AM , Rating: 2
So what's better looks worth (talking about cars here, btw).
Not much to me but quite a bit to most people. My first priority is performance. Don't care much about looks but I'm, admittedly, in a very small group. Looks are important to most people. And an ugly car won't cut it. See the Aztek. If people think this car is ugly, it will be a failure. If people think the car is good looking or cool, the 40+ mpg will be a bonus.

By Whaaambulance on 2/5/2009 3:51:53 PM , Rating: 1
Yes you are correct. I can see the resemblance of this Honda in the new Porsche 911 Turbo.....

Americans like looks. If people didn't care about looks, we would all be driving the same car. And even in the matter of fuel economy, if people had a less ugly car to choose from in Hybrids, I guarantee they would choose that.

By cokbun on 2/5/2009 8:05:33 PM , Rating: 2
it looks ok from the front, but from the side it kinda looks like a mouse with a very big ass. i think the back side needs a little trim, shorter and lower, definetely chopping off some weight and by that, raise efficiency.

By b534202 on 2/5/2009 4:58:10 PM , Rating: 2
New car, new sheetmetal.

If it looks like the Accord, then it would be the Accord Hybrid wouldn't it...

By jconan on 2/5/2009 11:50:26 PM , Rating: 2
They did that already with the civic. However it didn't sell well because it looked like every other car. People couldn't tell that it was a hybrid. So that's why they chose this route to that people will know,"Oh It's a HyBRID !" and not mistaken it for a nonhybrid.

"Young lady, in this house we obey the laws of thermodynamics!" -- Homer Simpson
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